TIPS FOR PERSONAL BIBLE STUDY
Building on yesterday’s post, let me share with you some practical tips that may help you with your personal study of the bible. Most of us need some guidelines now and then in order to have a beneficial bible study. Use these tips as guidelines and enjoy a rich study of the God’s Word.
1. Pray prior to beginning your study.
- Ask God to open your eyes to the spiritual truths contained in the scripture.
- Approach God boldly and with confidence, yet remain humble and aware of your need to learn and be fed
- Ask God to remove any distractions from your study
2. Read the passage you plan to study several times.
- For Bible Study, it is always best to stick to a single paragraph at a time.
- Make sure you are using a good translation and not a paraphrase.
- Start by browsing the whole book to see the whole picture of what is going on.
- Then carefully read the chapter of your passage, then, reread it very carefully and slowly in a good translation.
- Then zero in on the paragraph you have chosen for this study
3. Think about the passage you have read and ask these questions.
a. What does the passage say? (Summarize & paraphrase)
b. What is the main idea of the passage?
c. What spiritual truths are taught by this passage?
d. What can I learn from this passage?
e. What in this passage applies to me personally?
f. What specific attitude or action do I need to think or do?
4. Learn to “listen” to what you are reading.
a. Remember, the Holy Spirit illuminates the Word
b. Take time to be still in God’s presence – don’t rush
c. Reflect on what you have read and studied
5 Pray that God would help you to apply the answers
- When you come to a verse that speaks to a particular need in your life or illuminates sin in your life, stop talk to God about it.
- Ask God to enable you to act on what you learned so that you become a doer of the word and not simply a “hearer.”
- God speaks to you through His word and you speak to God through praying to Him
6. Write down your answers, impressions, or thoughts on this passage.
- This helps you to think and pray through them.
- Refer back to the previous study or other studies to see how you are progressing
- Highlight areas that you see difficult to put into practice. Ask God for help through His Spirit and ask a close and trusted friend to help you put these things into practice.
- Use the things you have written down as a prayer “list,” asking God to develop in you new attitudes and begin new actions.
7. Be creative and use variety in your bible study
- Avoid becoming routine, dry, and/or ritualistic
- At different times use different translations to study from
- There are a number of ways to study the bible
1. Study a chapter or paragraph at a time
2. Study a bible character
3. Study a theme or topic through the bible
4. Study a doctrine